Trinidad and Tobago has accused the world’s most affluent countries of hoarding Monkeypox vaccines
Developed nations have been hoarding Monkeypox vaccines, showing little regard for other countries’ needs, Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister has claimed, comparing the situation to what happened at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic.
At a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Terrence Deyalsingh said “Something rather tragic is going on at the vaccine front” with the Monkeypox virus, where “Smaller countries, like Trinidad and Tobago, are being left out of the picture by wealthier nations that have accumulated vaccines.”
The minister expressed disappointment that the international community has failed to learn from the Covid 19 pandemic, with developed nations reverting to the same “regrettable” hoarding behavior.
Deyalsingh argued that vaccines against Monkeypox should be “Accessible at a higher level for all countries.” taking into account population size and individual risk profiles.
Although Monkeypox has not been reported in Trinidad and Tobago yet, it was confirmed in Jamaica and The Bahamas.
Based on estimates by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, the University of Minnesota, Wednesday saw 10,857 Monkeypox cases confirmed worldwide. It has been less than two years since the virus first appeared in West Africa’s endemic area.
It is estimated that at least three people have died from the disease this year. The most severely affected areas are Brazil, North America, and Western Europe.
Monkeypox is a similar disease to smallpox but less severe. The virus can also be spread through bodily fluids and lesions in the throat or mouth, respiratory drops, and contact with contaminated objects. It is thought to be especially prevalent in homosexuals.
The World Health Organization and several groups such as the African Union repeatedly condemned rich countries at the peak of the Covid pandemic, 2020 and 2021. They accused them of hoarding vital Covid vaccines, to the disadvantage of those in need.
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